The frantic pace of Christmas got you down? Bored stiff, sad or depressed- stressed? Feel more like Scrooge than Santa’s little helper? All you want to do is get it over with? You are not alone.

Christmas is suppose to be a time of peace and joy, giving and sharing, counting our blessings, and remembering those who are less fortunate. So why does it seem to back fire in our faces? Could it possibly be we are trying to do too much- couldn’t be! No, it’s Uncle Harry’s fault, such a grouch, no one wants him around. He’s the one that is making my Christmas season less than joyous, or my boss, or my wife, the idiot driver in front of me, it just depends on who’s in the picture at that particular moment.

It’s always easier to blame the circumstances in our lives or someone else than to look at our own stuff. But until we deal with our stuff, wherever I go, there I am and the angst continues. If your life has become a daily battle of stressors with no relief then yes, the stress of the holiday will make things feel out of hand and out of control.

Christmas may or may not be the time for you to begin to seriously look at what’s underneath all those uncomfortable feelings. But if it is, then Christmas may have bestowed a special gift on you this year- the kind of changes you’ve always wanted to make- ones that bring lasting peace and joy.

When the rush of the season comes down hard, remember to first be kind to yourself. Don’t expect things to go perfectly. Be willing to laugh at yourself when things don’t go as expected. Besides, it saves someone else laughing at you first.

Here are some other ideas; mostly shopping (everyone’s major complaint) that may help reduce holiday stress.

1. Try shopping the Internet. It saves time, money and maybe your sanity. You can shop at your own pace rather than someone else’s. Even if you don’t find what you are looking for, it will give you lots of ideas to work with. Don’t know how it will fit or look? Many sites if given measurements will dress models and give you a virtual fashion show.

2. Don’t have a net connection? How about that as a gift?

3. Still not into the net? Catalogs are great. They’ll wrap and ship.

4. Shop with a list, make a map if needed to keep you from back tracking. If you have favorite stores shop during the off hours.

5. Gift certificates done over the phone for service items hair, nails, tanning sessions, massages, weekend getaways are wonderful gifts that are only a phone call away.

Don’t make the blitz of Christmas something it isn’t. Try measuring the day with memories of unconditional love, trust, forgiveness, second chances, comfort, joy, courage or acceptance. The real things of Christmas! Till next time, Rebecca.